Guest Author - Mona McKenzie
When I think of the Super Bowl, a few things come to mind. I initially key in on the fact that two great football teams survived a very long journey to play in the best sporting event in the world. Then I decide to automatically root for the NFC Champion, unless the Redskins are playing. However, if the Colts are playing, I root for them, unless they are playing the Cowboys. Finally, I think of a sunny weather locale or a dome stadium where the Lombardi Trophy will be hoisted into the air by the victor. Miami, Tampa or the Superdome come to mind.
Maybe I’m spoiled, but, I just don’t think playing a Super Bowl in New Jersey, in an open-air stadium, in February, is a good idea. To those in the Garden State, it’s not personal, I’m just thinking ahead. Only a few months ago, in February, New Jersey and the rest of the Mid-Atlantic states had over 3 feet of snow dumped on them. It was not pretty. I honestly don’t ever want to see another snowflake in my life. There was nowhere to move the snow, and life as we knew it was completely halted for at least a solid week. And if you had school-aged children, your life was in disarray even longer. Fast forward four years to the weekend of Super Bowl 48 and throw in three feet of snow and what will you have? A big mess and possibly a Super Bowl that is historic for all the wrong reasons. Many fans will spend thousands of dollars to attend the Super Bowl and related festivities. If the game is cancelled, or if fans can’t attend because flights are cancelled or roads are impassible, there is no “do-over.” Those fans would simply be out of luck.
I realize that football’s origins are tied to playing in cold and/or adverse weather conditions. For example, the “Ice Bowl” was an epic matchup played in the frigid cold. That game was played when running the football constituted most of offense. Sans the Raiders - Patriots “Tuck Rule” game where snow was falling and it, along with the officials, impacted the outcome, very few memorable and highly important games were played in absolutely horrible weather conditions. I would like to see it stay that way. I love high-powered offenses that combine a running and passing attack. Adverse weather conditions in the biggest game of the year will make any offense one-dimensional and boring.
I do applaud the NFL for wanting to expand the reach of Super Bowl host cities. Until this week, cold-weather cities without a dome stadium did not have even a remote chance of being awarded the Super Bowl. I was worried when Detroit hosted Super Bowl 40 because of the possibility of bad weather impacting travel. Thankfully, severe weather stayed away for the game. I hope that the NFL, along with the Giants, Jets, Cities of New York and East Rutherford, etc. have a viable plan for how to pull off the same caliber Super Bowl experience even with extreme weather conditions, just in case. I would love for the game to come off without a hitch because I want to see history made in person. Here’s to a great Super Bowl 48!